What's your go-to lunch of choice? If you opt for sushi over a sandwich, you're on the right track to a longer, healthier life.

According to scientists, adhering to Japan's recommended food guide has been linked to a lower risk of early death from all causes, including cardiovascular disease.

So when we say sushi, we don't mean the tempura-packed rolls drenched in yum-yum sauce. A healthy Japanese diet refers to a balanced consumption of grains, vegetables, fruits, fish and meat.

Scientists from Japan's National Centre for Global Health and Medicine in Tokyo found adhering to the guide improves a person's longevity.


The team set out to establish the link between sticking to the guide and total and cause-specific mortality by reviewing data from food and lifestyle surveys of almost 80,000 people aged between 45 and 70.

Each participant was followed for 15 years and none presented a history of cancer, stroke, heart disease or chronic liver disease.

Both men and women who scored higher on their adherence to the food guide had a 15 per cent lower mortality rate.

The researchers concluded: "Our findings suggest that balanced consumption of energy, grains, vegetables, fruits, meat, fish, eggs, soy products, dairy products, confectionaries, and alcoholic beverages can contribute to longevity."

- nzherald.co.nz